Alternative education is a form of teaching that is quite prevalent and gaining exposure. As many as 2.4 million students were home schooled in 2006, and top colleges such as Harvard and Stanford recognize and routinely matriculate students from alternative education backgrounds. (Washington University in St. Louis, a USA top 20 and rising school, recently accepted one of my own home schooled students who chose not to finish the high school curriculum; though her standardized test scores were extremely high and she had at age 16 led a charity event which raised $100,000.) The evidence is in: Alternative education is absolutely viable.
Alternative education methods do not include only home schooling by private teachers or tutors. Many websites such as homeschool.com and homeschoolacademy.com have high school accreditation status. Entire courses are being taught online. Students also have access to online tutors and resources just like in a classroom. All you need these days is a computer.
Arguably, the alternative educational movement began with groups of Christian parents dissatisfied with public school norms. It has since expanded to include home school programs for most religions, rural students, and even programs geared towards certain professions.
Many parents who choose alternative education methods for their children cite better test results, more individual attention, and less worry about the surrounding environment. Alternative education is also a huge concern for people with political disagreements with their public school systems.
However, many do not yet trust the alternative education system, fearing that their child will be shut out of higher educational facilities because they did not go through the established systems. Alternative education leaders have attempted to counter this by creating individual relationships with college admissions officers, and advertising the equivalency tests that are accepted by those schools just as much as a public high school transcript.
Alternative education is a vibrant, growing field which continues to prosper more each year. As the Internet continues to become even more prevalent in our lives, we can definitely expect alternative education to grow with it.